Connor McDavid took part in an NHL Conference call with captains from four Pacific Division teams on Friday and among the many number of topics discussed, he noted that a “fair season is a full season”, even if that’s not what works best for the Edmonton Oilers.
The host went around the horn and asked what playoff format the players on the call would like. Bo Horvat started by saying he’d like to either have playoffs based on points percentage or play the rest of the season. Oliver Ekman-Larsson says the Coyotes are hoping for a regular-season restart, as did Flames defenseman Mark Giordano who wants that for he and his teammates. When it came to McDavid, he joked, “I think (the standings) look pretty good right now.”
Playoffs vs Regular Season
The NHL has really been working a lot on what the structure of resuming the season might entail. The longer the delay when it comes to the season, more difficult it will get to finish things out in time, so as to not affect next season.
Alex Oveckin, in a similar calls to this one with Metropolitan teams, said “he was bored” and he and his Capitals wanted to jump right back into things, starting with the playoffs. Others weren’t so sure. Among the others was McDavid who expressed concern as to how damaging it could be for players to jump on the ice after a two month layoff.
Oilers vs. Flames Playoff Would Be Taxing
As everyone knows, the pace of play and the physicality is ratcheted up a notch in the playoffs. McDavid used the example of what might happen in the Oilers faced the Calgary Flames in round one.
“I don’t think we can just step into the playoffs and Game 1, it’s Calgary coming to Edmonton, and guys are running around trying to kill each other that haven’t played for two months. It’ll end up the (AHL) Stockton Heat vs. the Bakersfield Condors if that’s the case. We want to keep the guys healthy.”
He’s got a point.
Much of the conversation on this call dealt with how players are trying to stay in shape while isolated. Some guys, like McDavid, have home gyms to work out in. Other guys use their team facilities so they have no need for a gym. As such, they’re forced to find creative ways to work out. McDavid, for example, noted he’s got an exercise video for fans (maybe even for fellow players) coming out that he did up with trainer Gary Roberts.
But, that’s not the same as being in game shape. If everyone jumped into the playoffs after a long layoff, the risk of injuries go way up. And, while McDavid says he’s 100 percent from this knee injury this summer, it would have to be weighing on him, possibly concerned the knee might not hold up.
The NHL Should Do What’s Fair
While Mark Giordano said he didn’t believe there would be time to get in more regular season games, thus potentially eliminating the Flames, Canucks and Coyotes, McDavid said, “But you want a fair season. And a fair season is a full season.”
While the Oilers were the only team on the call in an envious position as the season went on hold, he added, “If we can do that, I think that’s something we’d obviously prefer.”
It goes to show you that McDavid is happy being in the playoff picture, but in winning the Stanley Cup, should Edmonton go on to do that, he wants to win it with no excuses.
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